Thank you all so much for your continued support over the years. I appreciate everyone who has taken time out of their busy day in order to read an article posted here.
After much thought, I decided that I am going to start updating the categories and content featured here. I don’t really follow the social norm as far as blogging is concerned. I know a lot of folks pick what kind of blog they want and dedicate their posting around a certain topic. That never really worked for me because I like to represent on my blog what and who I really am.
I am a person who has worked (and still does) for over 17 years in the field of Human/Social Services working with families, children, and individuals with disabilities. I am a person who has worked and still works in the music/ entertainment industry not only as an artist, but in many different administrative functions. I am a person who has been an entrepreneur for over a decade and I am a person who not only talks about God, but someone who tries their best to walk that belief out in my everyday life.
I’ve done a lot of growing and maturing since I started this blog and someone very dear to my heart always has told me that everything God allows you to go through is to help someone else. So I feel inclined to give away everything that I’ve learned so that hopefully it will help someone else. With that being said, currently my life is so hectic I don’t fall asleep, I pretty much collapse at the end of the day. I am a full-time caregiver, I manage a full-time health staff and do 170 hours of payroll bi-weekly. I am a full-time care manager (which is someone who coordinates all health and community programs for an individual with a disability), I care for several children full-time Monday-Friday, I am the First Lady to Hell Razah’s (Wu-Tang Clan/Sunz of Man risendocumentary.com) Ghetto Govt Global Movement, I oversee the development and Management of two independent record labels, as well as work in my church administrative office while managing to make time for family and friends, and at some point attempt to work on my own music and book. Yes. I do all of this 7 days a week, I rarely get a break and if you ask me how, I can only spell out J-E-S-U-S, that’s how LOL.
So in my re-design, I’m going to keep a lot of things like music I’m involved with, interviews, Encouragement articles, Hip-Hop 101 for Independent Artists, and #TeamQueen but I really want to add a lot of stuff I’ve learned over the last few years like how to feed 8 kids on a budget, parenting techniques, time management, budgeting, and personal organization. I also want to address things that are important to me because after all it is my blog. I hope that you all will enjoy the updates, thank you all for your continued support!
I hope everyone is enjoying their Holiday season & remembering those less fortunate.
Isn’t it funny how you can get some people to give during the holidays but never at any other time of the year? Not all people though. Some of us are givers as a lifestyle.
First of all everyone has it in them to give. Most of the time when people lose the ability to be giving it’s normally because they have been hurt as a result of giving too much to the wrong person so instead of being a more careful giver, they become a bitter non-existent giver.
A giver isn’t always necessarily someone who gives material things away. Don’t make that mistake! There are quite a few folks that give material things only because it’s a tax write off or because it makes them look good. Here’s how you can pick those out, they talk about it or tell you about it & everyone else. When people give things and never let anyone forget it? It wasn’t a real gift. Giving comes from your heart and when you truly are giving out of your heart? You forfeit the right to bring it up again if it was done in love.
Giving should always be done from the heart and in love. I was talking about this this morning with one of my girlfriends. It came up because we work in Public Housing. We have senior and elderly residents in our building and for their Holiday party, I asked them to nominate a neighbor. Basically, the folks where I work can’t afford to give gifts most of the time so I bought the gifts, they nominated the neighbor. This morning she and I were going through the gifts I purchased and not for nothing? Walgreens had some really nice $5 gifts. That’s how the whole thing started. We were impressed with what we were able to get for $5 and I asked her “Isn’t that crazy? This is a nice gift that says I thought of you and for some people they wouldn’t even appreciate it because it’s not enough? What happened to it’s the thought that counts?”
I’m not sure what happened to the way of people’s thinking. Maybe it started to change when parents assumed that having a TV, DVD Player, & gaming system in a child’s room was just part of the furniture and not something that should be earned as a privilege. Maybe it was when people forgot that having new shoes & clothes for school didn’t mean it had to be $100 shoes or jeans. Maybe it was when the imposter hip-hop took over and started brain washing both parents and kids that the only way to live or the definition of “arrived” is when you have a weekly budget for booze, cars, clothes, hoes, and the club. Maybe it was when parents started giving eight year olds $600 phones. Not sure, don’t care.
There is truly a lack of kindness in the world and it honestly makes me sick. I chose not to live like that and yes, there are drawbacks like giving your love and kindness to a person and they turn around and snake you. But you know what? That’s on them, not on you. Don’t let it change you. One day and we all know we’re not promised tomorrow, you will give an account for your behavior. If you died today, would you be happy with the answer?
Just a little soul food Fam.
THANKSGIVING IS FAST APPROACHING…..
Stratfield Apartments in Bridgeport, CT is public housing for seniors and individuals with disabilities. They are currently asking for donations of prepared food trays for Wednesday, November 27th in order to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for the 192 residents who live there. If you or your organization are able to help or donate please call (203) 366-4321.
As you know, outside of hip-hop I am very active in community & social services, especially the disability community. I would like to introduce you to Jade Bryan who is the first Black Film Maker with a hearing impairment.
Jade Bryan – The First Deaf Black Filmmaker
Ann Marie Bryan is the writer-producer-director of the upcoming film, The Shattered Mind, which is currently in postproduction. She’s currently raising finishing funds for her film so she can submit to 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Here is a link to the film’s IndieGoGo page:
Support The Shattered Mind on IndieGoGo.
The Shattered Mind, based in New York, is a psychodrama and surreal story about a hard-of-hearing teenager who juggles family, peer and culture conflicts while in search of her own sexual identity, freedom, and self-realization. Zhane Rain is an intense and carefree high school senior with three generations of hearing and Deaf family members who unravels family secrets behind the traumatic brain injury that caused her deafness.
Like the character in my film, Zhane Rain, I also endured a traumatic brain injury as a child. As a result of that injury, I also lost my hearing, so I know what it’s like dealing with family secrets, or not having to know the cause of my hearing loss until very recently. While growing up, I felt like I was living my life with a big “?” over my head every time someone would ask me how I became deaf. I’d tell them that I had no idea. The film, which I wrote and plan to direct, is fictional, but I used some of my own real-life experiences while writing the script.
I’m passionate about making a film about the black deaf experience because no one is telling our stories. My work is not limited to making movies about the black deaf experience; however, I feel the timing is just right and I am raising $14,500 in finishing funds to complete the short film.
To better understand where I come from, one needs to understand that I live my life in three different cultural worlds. My personal world is a trinity of these worlds: Deaf, Jamaican-born but living now in America, and hearing. I utilize American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate, and the barrier of sound is a life-long challenge for me. This further exacerbates my life-long challenge of living in a world of sound. Therefore, I have three strikes against me as every day I fearlessly face societal, linguistic and cross-cultural barriers.
I was brought up in a mainstream society, one that had a tremendous influence on my life as a person with a hearing loss. As a filmmaker, I want to produce films about this experience. I want to tell and expose stories to audiences who will pay to see my films. I want to make films for television and the silver screen about issues from a non-traditional point of view commonly shared by Deaf people.
Through my films, I address a variety of paradoxical issues such as race, family conflicts, biracial and/or bicultural dynamics, socially conscious issues such as the inconsistently-heated debate over cochlear implants, same-sex relationships, domestic violence, rape, police brutality and mistreatment against Deaf and Hard of Hearing people, AIDS in the Deaf community, and interpersonal relationships between Deaf and hearing people who face cross-cultural and communication barriers.
Everyday, we deal with oppression, ignorance and bigotry. I tell these stories in a passionate manner with a strong urge to spread messages of love, awareness, diverse communication, education, uplifting, and peace-sharing that has been neglected by today’s ignorant and troubled world. These messages need more potency to be heard everywhere. As an artist who is deeply in touch with emotions, I respond well to human connection and the human condition; I want to tap into these emotions by making films that expose the human side of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people from all backgrounds, especially people of color.
Instead of turning to others for support, I established a film production company in 2006 to produce my own work as an avenue to address these three worlds, and other human experiences as well, in today’s society. Today, I am a respected and well-versed leader and filmmaker in my own right who serves as a model to others.
One of my biggest challenges as a filmmaker is getting people to support my work and believe in what I set out to do. I am not a quitter. I was born to produce film. I continue to have two main challenges: The inability to hear sound when I am working on my films, and getting financing for those films.
Every child receiving special education services are covered under the Federal law, the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). This federal law names the ways in which children who receive public education are protected and what they are entitled to for special education. It is important to know that every state has to abide by what IDEA lays out. However, every State is different. The only variation allowed is if the State chooses to make principles of IDEA more stringent (ex: timelines shorter) for their individual state.
What you need to know if your child has an IEP:
If your family moves to a new state, IDEA is clear that the services your child received in the State where they originally received Special Education services transfer across State lines. So for example, if your family lives in Minnesota and your child receives 5 hours of resource support and 1 hour of speech therapy, when you pick up and move to New York, IDEA protects your child’s educational rights to continue to receive 5 hours of resource and 1 hour of speech therapy in their new school. This goes the same if you move within the same state too! IDEA maps out what EVERY IEP MUST HAVE ACROSS THE NATION, however, each states IEP may physically look different.
Q: Can the receiving school change Your child’s IEP because they don’t have the same exact programs as your previous school?
A: Yes and No. The school can absolutely NEVER make changes to your child’s IEP without a Planning and Placement team meeting (IEP meeting…every state uses different terminology too!) or without your consent. As the Parent, you are the foremost member of a team. If the receiving school does not offer specific programs or certain support services that existed in your former state, it becomes the responsibility of the new team (yes including you the parent) to determine what services can be provided that resemble the child’s previous IEP or if there is a different placement available within the new school district to give the child what he/she needs. If your child had something specific like a 1:1 aide or behavioral therapist, it is absolutely imperative that the new school complies with similar recommendations. They are legally bound under the IEP, which is a legal document, to honor the services that have already been determined are necessary for that child’s educational success. If the school system states that they “don’t do that” or “don’t have that resource” they are out of compliance and you need to contact the school systems Director of Special Education or even the State immediately. Always put your concerns in writing to make a paper trail documenting your concern (this includes email).
If it is a question of hours or service delivery, use your judgement. Go with your gut. If you feel the school is proposing something completely irrational (i.e. cutting 5 hours down to 1) disagree with the proposed change. Legally if there is a disagreement, the old IEP must remain until a new one is agreed upon.
If you feel the school is proposing something appropriate, again go with your gut. For example, if the school wants to change 5 hours of pull out resource support to 2 hours pull out and 3 hours in the classroom because the resource teacher co-teaches reading this may be an acceptable service delivery alteration. It’s not changing the service being delivered just the setting. Just always remember: YOU CAN CALL A PPT WHENEVER YOU WANT!
Again, your parental right under IDEA is to hold a meeting whenever you want to discuss or make changes to your child’s IEP. Team meetings may suffice too, but if it ever comes down to changes in IEP services, hours, etc. hold a PPT/IEP meeting.
If you are ever in the situation where a new school system does not honor an IEP or attempts to remove services, you should immediately hold a PPT meeting and document your concerns or disagreement. You always have the right to contact your State department of special education and file a formal complaint against the school district. Should it become a legal issue, you may want to exercise your right to due process and search for educational advocates or attorneys that specialize in educational law.
Jodi L. Everone, M.S., CCC-SLP
APRIL IS AUTISM AWARENESS MONTH
Some of you may already know that I come from a stacked background in social services, especially as it pertains to disabilities. (Read more in the “About QueenTheProphet top of Blog).
Since April is Autism awareness month, for the entire month of April, I will do weekly posts surrounding educational information on Autism and other Pervasive Development Disorders (PDD) that are classified as Autism & other spectrum disorders.
WHAT IS AUTISM?
Autism is a life-long disability that prevents individuals from properly understanding what they see, hear, or otherwise sense (think 5 senses).
WANT TO UNDERSTAND AUTISM BETTER? TRY THIS EXERCISE:
For the next 5 minuets…. write down everything you hear. EVERYTHING. (Lights buzzing, heat blowing, cars, alarms, talking traffic, etc.)
Look at this list. This is how many individuals with Autism hear. They hear EVERYTHING at once. Pretend you’re a parent trying to get a child with Autism to clean their room with the TV on. They’re not ignoring you…. often they’re hearing EVERYTHING at once. Now apply this same exsample to the other senses.
PEOPLE 1st LANGUAGE:
When speaking about a person with any disability, make sure you are using People 1st Language. ALWAYS put the person BEFORE the disability. They are a person first, not a disability. Using People 1st Language takes practice, but it’s very easy to get the hang of.
Jimmy (person) has Autism (disability) .
Individuals (person) with disabilities (disability).
My son (person) has Autism (disability).
If you have a story, poem, or anything related to AUTISM that you would like to see blogged on queentheprophet.com , email firstname.lastname@example.org put “Autism” in the subject line.